Effective way to communicate

Are written communications more effective than verbal ones?

Written communications include memos, letters, e-mail, organizational periodicals bulletin boards, or any device that transmits written words or symbols. Why would a sender choose to use written communications? Because they are tangible verifiable and more permanent than the oral variety. Typically, both sender and receiver have a record of the communication. The message can be stored for an indefinite period of time. If questions arise about the content of the message, it is physically available for later reference. This feature is particularly important for complex or lengthy communications. For example, the marketing plan for a new product is likely to contain a number of tasks spread out over several months. By putting it in writing, those who have to initiate the plan can readily refer to the document over the life of the plan. A final benefit of written communication comes from the process itself. Except in rare instances, such as when presenting formal speech more acre is taken with the written word than with the spoken word Having to put something in writing forces a person to think more carefully about what he or she wants to convey. Therefore, written communications are more likely to be well though out, logical and clear.

Of course, written messages have their drawbacks. Writing may be more precise but it also consumes a great deal of time. You could convey far more information to your college instructor in a one hour oral exam than in a one hour written exam. In fact, you could probably say in 10 to 15 minutes what takes you an hour to write. The other major disadvantage is feedback or, rather, lack of it. Oral communications allow the receivers to respond rapidly to what they think they hear. However, written communications don’t have a built in feedback mechanism. Sending a memo is no assurance that it will be received and if it is received, no guarantee that the recipient will interpret it as the sender meant. The latter point is also relevant in oral communiqués but it easier in such cases merely to ask the receiver to summarize what you have said. An accurate summary presents feedback evidence that the messages has been received and understood.

Is the Grapevine an effective way to communicate?


An unofficial channel of communication

The grapevine is the unofficial way that communications take place in an organization. It is neither authorized nor supported by the organization. Rather information is spread by word of mouth – and even through electronic mans. Ironically good information passes among us rapidly but bad information even faster. The grapevine gets information out to organizational members as quickly s possible.

The biggest question raised bout grapevines however, focuses on the accuracy of the rumors. Research on this topic has found somewhat mixed results. In an organization characterized by openness, the grapevine may be extremely accurate. In an authoritative culture the rumor mill may not be accurate. But even then, although the information flowing is inaccurate, it still contains some element of truth. Rumors bout major layoffs, plant closings and the like may be filled with inaccurate information regarding who will be affected or when it may occur. Nonetheless the reports that something is about to happen are probably on target may occur. Nonetheless the reports that something is about to happen are probably on target.

Dan Gilbert founder and chairperson of Quicken Loans reds messages employees post on a giant bulletin board at company head quarters Gilbert attributes the success of his online home mortgage company to a culture that emphasizes communication among employees and with customers.